KEVIN YOUNG, DIRECTOR
60822 Creek Road
Niles, MI 49120
269-684-3870
kevin60822@sbcglobal.net


JULY/AUGUST 2022 GRANGE NEWS

Wow it’s July!? The first 6 months of 2022 have gone by way too fast! I hope everyone that planted a garden kept in mind the Agriculture Department classes for the 2022 State Session. I really hope to have a good number of entries in my Department this year as there were only I believe 2 entries in 2021.  

​We are a few short months now from our 2022 State Session that is being held at the B.E. Henry Building in Marshall. It was nice to be back to a normal State Session in 2021 and hope it is even better this year as more people have gotten back to a normal way of life.
Fair season is back in full swing again. In just two short months the Berrien County Youth Fair while be coming to a close as it starts on August 15th. I have 2 pigs and 2 market goats along with Boer Doe in the back yard for my niece and nephew. It is my 2nd nephew’s last year of exhibiting, and he decided to only do goats. It was great to hear that MDARD has since lifted the ban of any type of exhibition of poultry or waterfowl due to the Avian Flu that we were having pop up all over the Country.
I use Facebook as many fellow Grangers do as well. One of the pages I like and follow is the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources page. I found the following facts that they have posted the last few months very interesting and a couple of things that I didn’t know.

Michigan ranked 4th in 2021 for its sugar beet production.
Are you looking to expand your garden and not sure what to add? Plant a low maintenance, but delicious vegetable: rhubarb! The rhubarb plant becomes large and rangy and is not suitable for small gardens. It prefers cool weather and is adaptable to just about any well-drained soil type.

May is/was National Egg Month. The egg industry has a total of $625 MILLION in economic impact in the state of Michigan.
Michigan produced 109 million bushels of soybeans in 2021 valued at $1.5 BILLION!

Remember one class that anyone can enter is the class labeled: Any planting in a Unique container. It can be any type of container, but the planting must have grown in the unique container. Keep in mind that you must be able to transport this item to State Session and be able to bring it from your vehicle with little assistance.
Here is hoping your gardens are growing or will be and that your harvest is bountiful. Until the next MGN…. 
AGRICULTURE
MAY/JUNE 2022 GRANGE NEWS

Okay enough with the snow in April!! This spring has been very crazy for weather so far. As I sit here on April 19th the weekend forecast is calling for highs in the mid to upper 70s and maybe into the lower 80s! We are having a true roller coaster Spring that is for sure. I wonder what Summer will be like here in Michigan this year. Hoping Summer will be nice and not too hot.

​How many of you have planted anything in your gardens yet? Things that could have been planted by now would be seed potatoes, onion sets, cold crops (cabbages, etc) and I even think carrots but not sure so please check before you plant them! When planning your garden spots, keep in mind the Ag Classes that you can enter at this year’s Annual State Grange Session. Each class is open to Junior members on up to Subordinate members. There are plenty of different classes for all ages and you do not have to live in the Country to do them. I can’t wait to see what Unique containers with plantings come to State Session. Please check the Program Booklet for more details. Be sure to check out the Family Activities section as they put in a neat class in their Department having to do with Antique Agriculture items.    

​We are running behind at getting things done around the little farm this spring due to the crazy things going on in our World right now. I have yet to get the chicken coop cleaned but that is because when I have the time it is either not nice weather or I am too tired and need to just rest! The pigs will be brought to the farm on April 23rd for my niece are and we have had a Boer yearly doe and my niece’s market goat here since the first of April. My nephew’s market goat isn’t ready to come to the farm yet as he is still on a bottle and this Uncle doesn’t have time to do that every morning! LOL Chores are in full swing here besides having the chickens to gather eggs from. We are getting at least 7 eggs a day on the average. We have decided to raise chicks again this year and so face have 5 chicks in the brooder box with another 4 coming around the 21st. We still have our “garage” cats of all different ages and colors. We just within the last week had sisters give us litters of 5 and 3 kittens. They are so cute but I hope we can find great homes for them when they are old enough. Oh brother!?! We can’t keep them all, but they are so much fun to watch grow up and play in the yard with each other. 

​Please be mindful that this is the time that the country roads and some State Highways will have slow moving farm vehicles on them. If it wasn’t for those farmers and their employees we wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to farmers’ markets or the grocery stores to get the needed foods to feed our families. Please give those big vehicles and tractors as much room as you can without causing problems for yourself or others.
Well, that is all for now. Please remember whenever possible to buy Local or Locally Grown / Made products! I have a few friends that have started up side businesses to help with their farm income. One is a Dairy farmer and they also raise dairy beef and sell either whole, half or quarters of beef straight from the processors or packaged frozen beef. The other friend lives closer to my mini farm and they started a Farmer’s Market to sell their own pork that they had processed and have locally raised beef and other local products. You are helping small farm families most of the time. Good luck with your garden planning and happy growing until later!